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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  8,680 ratings  ·  1,454 reviews
"There’s a reason why Brewster can’t have friends – why he can’t care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can’t be explained. I know, because they're happening to me."

When Brontë starts dating Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins – the guy voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” her twin brother, Tennyson, isn’t...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by HarperTeen (first published June 29th 2010)
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Neal Shusterman
Oct 02, 2014 Neal Shusterman added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-own-books
Again – not a book review, but a review of my writing process for BRUISER. The idea of telling a story about an empath who can take on people’s pain had been with me for a while – but it wasn’t until I started toying with the idea of a character who could take on psychological and emotional pain that I got really interested in telling this story. We THINK we want our hurts taken away from us, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that surrendering our emotional pain cripples us. W...more
Brewster (or Bruiser), a 15-year old troubled, withdrawn kid, is in a possession of a special gift/curse - he absorbs physical pain from people he cares about. He can't control this ability, he just takes away the hurts of his friends and family, whenever he is close to them, and experiences it, regardless of if he wants it or not. Bruiser has always tried to not get attached to people, to spare himself unnecessary suffering. His social circle is limited to his abusive uncle and younger brother...more
Shayantani Das
That kid is not kidding! I really am confused about what I feel for this novel. I should have loved it. But I didn’t. Do I loathe it? No, not really. Ughhhhhhh!!!!

Why I picked up this book : Bruiser is written by Neal Shusterman. Neal Shusterman wrote Unwind. No further motivation was needed. It is as simple as that!

Bruiser also has a very interesting concept. It’s basically a story about Bruiser, the misunderstood, socially inept, troubled hero. He uncle is abusive, and (SURPRISE!!!) he feel...more
I won't pretend I thought Shusterman, the Tim Burton of YA literature, was worth my time before this book. I won't even say that I was so intrigued by the synopsis or the title or the cover art that I paid for it with my own hard earned dollars. All I will say is that my mom told me I would like it and practically put her copy of Bruiser in my hands, and the next day at work I was so incredibly bored I decided to read a few pages.

I got little work done that night.

Bruiser is one of those punch-yo...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
GAHHH. GAHH. THIS BOOK IS GORGEOUSSS. I WANT TO EAT IT. I LOVE IT TO SHREDS. Seriously, I don't think Neal Shusterman's genius will ever fail to amaze me. He is too awesome for words. It's not fair. Well, okay––Unwind is still my favorite. Everlost and Everwild are pretty hard to beat, too. But Bruiser is also very very amazing.

I don't really want to say what it's about, since part of its magic is in finding out Bruiser's secret on your own. But I can tell ya, this book––like all of Shusterman's...more
There’s a small fraction of authors that have left a lasting impression on me with their literary talent that catapults my imagination into unchartered territories. Shusterman is undeniably one of those authors in the top echelon of highly regarded and slightly feared… where I’m concerned at least.

I read his novel Unwind years ago, about the time it first came out, and I can still remember to this day how my imaginary safe place was rocked to its core by a simple and short chapter in that book...more
Rating 4.5
This would have been a complete 5 star for me, but there were a couple of places that bothered me and I can believe it ended the way it did. Having said that let me just say WOW!!! I read Unwind a while ago and I never thought that anything could ever top that book, but Shusterman has proved me wrong, even with a few bothersome things. I can't and won't say too much about the plot as I think that every reader needs to explore this and read it in the way the author has so skillfully wri...more
Aug 26, 2010 Andrea added it
Shelves: fiction
Told from four points of view, BRUISER was quite the twist on reality, even though it was told so well that it didn't even seem like it should be impossible. After Bronte starts dating the Bruiser, she and her twin brother Tennyson find out there really IS a reason Brewster's had stand-offish and weird down perfectly – odd things happen when he cares about people.

Like UNWIND being more than just a futuristic world, BRUISER was more than a story featuring a boy with an infeasible ability. Defini...more
Nov 26, 2010 Milly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: isamlq, sashana, tatiana, penny, tiffany, nic, jennifer wardrip, arlene,
Neal Shusterman came highly recommended by a fellow goodreads-er and now I know why. He is just brillant!!! Bruiser was authentic and inventive in its plot! I was riveted and in awe of Neal Shusterman's writing style. Bruiser keeps you guessing as mysteries are revealed throughout the story, making it quite difficult to put this book down. The lines are witty, funny, and insightful! I went through a full spectrum of emotions: from laughing out loud to crying quietly! The characters are smart and...more
This book bummed me out. Not because it was a downer, necessarily, but because I could see all this room for excellence in it that never was fully realized. I think Shusterman is good at developing a likable and mildly amusing voice for his characters, but man if they don't all sound the same. And the poetry sections? Horrifying.

Bruiser is the story of twins Tennyson and Bronte, and the changes that Bronte's new boyfriend (Brewster, commonly known as the Bruiser) makes in their lives. I'm about...more
Maree  ♫ Light's Shadow ♪
Oh. So who thought this was going to be a normal fiction book? *raises hand* I actually like it when books are different from my general expectation. Especially YA books, since they're normally so easy to predict.

So, I like what he did there with Brew and Howl, but seriously, how many teens are going to get that the reference to the poem and his actual thought process are related? I don't want to be giving kids a lack of credit, but it seems like these characters are very literary where the majo...more
The Sternberger twins live fairly charmed lives. Tennyson is popular, athletic, and confident-bordering-on-cocky. Brontë is popular enough, quietly self-assured, and sensitive to others. The Bruiser, on the other hand, is a hulking loner in too-small clothes who was unofficially voted Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty. He and his little brother, Cody, live with Uncle Hoyt and keep well away from everyone else. Brontë befriends Brewster and draws a very misunderstood and reluctant Bruiser into...more
A big hulk of a guy… that’s Brewster. The others characters are just as… unique. There are Tennyson and Bronte, so named given their parents’ professions as literature professors. I found all of them, as I said, unique… and their story engaging. Neal Shusterman can do no wrong in my eyes, so, yes, you could say that I am a fan. Unwind got me hooked and I am so glad to have found this.

OK, Enough of the gushing. The plot itself was quite different from the things I had been reading. I was in dire...more
Sigh. After I capture Patrick Ness and chain him to a laptop, my next target will be Neal Shusterman. Besides being dashing and debonair(saw him at Comicon), he writes YA that's truly sublime. He writes the same way Terry Pratchett does: he asks a question that's basic to human nature, then answers it with a flight of the imagination. The question in this book is, "How would you react if you found something that could take away all of the hurtful things in your life?" Then Shusterman adds an ext...more
Neal Shusterman is amazing and only accidentally getting carburetor fluid sprayed in my eyes this evening could have made me put it down. And it was more of a "throw it down while screaming" kind of move. But my eyes are feeling better, so I'm about to put the kids to bed so I can get back to the book. I hope I don't go blind.

Not blind! My eyes aren't even damaged! So I finished the book, and it got more and more amazing right up until it was over, and I had to read all the author interview at t...more
This book was exceptional in terms of characterization and its ability to make me mull over a moral dilemma. Think about it - if a person existed who was able to remove all of your pain, your anxiety, and every ailment you would ever suffer from, how great would that be? But there's a catch: this magical person must suffer from all the hurt you would have received. Would you go on and live with your pain, or would you give it up and live a carefree existence, knowing every little thing that harm...more
Drew Nevitt
SNNNKKKKTTKTKKKRRRRRNNNNKNGGG! How do I accurately tell how much I enjoyed this book? It was fantastic! The characters were people I cared about, and the events were realistic and not too much of a stretch at all, and the take-away was great! Man, I loved this book! I could not put it down! Often times I read and think, "Wow, that was great. I need a moment to take that in." Nein! I had to get to the next part - the author so cleverly divided the book up into small episodes with his chapters, a...more
Sarah Rosenberger
Everyone at school knows of Brewster "Bruiser" Rawlins, the boy voted "Most Likely to get the Death Penalty," but until bleeding-heart Bronte Stenberger decides there must be more to him than meets the eye and begins a campaign to draw him out of his isolated life, no one has really known him...

As Bronte and her twin brother Tennyson find their lives entwining with Brewster's, they quickly discover why Brewster usually avoids relationships with others. When he cares about someone, he ends up tak...more
I am a huge fan of "UNWIND" by Neal Shusterman. That was the first book I've read by him and "BRUISER" only my second. I think its safe to say that the author knows how to tell a compelling, unique, well-written story.

WHAT I LIKED: 4 POV's: Tennyson, Brontë, Brew, and Cody. The author allows each character to have their own "voice" and shows how their actions affect others. If you've read the summary, and without being too "spoilery", Brew has an unusual "gift" of healing. He leads an odd life...more
An interesting take on psychic powers. Brewster, called Bruiser because... well, he just is, has the ability to transfer any pain, physical or emotional, from the person feeling it to himself. In full. This means that when his brother falls from the roof, it's Brew who breaks his leg. Naturally, this leads to him isolating himself from everyone, until he starts seeing a girl named Bronte, and eventually becomes friends with her twin brother, Tennyson.

It is, as far as I know, unique. Unfortunatel...more
Good job, again, Mr. Shusterman! An emotional story. Brewster Rawlins- Bruiser is not a normal teenage boy. He's troubled. He has a special gift/curse, which is he can absorb to himself physical and even psychological pain from the ones he cares about. He isn't able to control that. Because of it, this is a book that 'raises up' many both moral and ethical questions/dilemmas. What is right or what is not.. What is fair or isn't.. What should be accepted or not.. And much more..

It's just really...more
Nov 21, 2010 Darcy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Darcy by: Samantha
Shelves: 2010, ya
This was a great book, one that really makes a person think and a hard one to review without revealing the story and what is going on.

The points that do come up are:
*Is a person really a bad person when their bad actions are the best thing for a person?
*Is a person really a good person when their good actions are the worst thing for a person?
*Would you want to be anesthetized against everything in your life if you could?
*If you do choose that is it really the best situation for you and your ment...more
Rossana Peña Rivera
WaaOOOWWW me encanto el libro, no espera esta historia. Para aquellos que el drama no les molesta les recomiendo el libro. Todos los personajes me gustaron. Muy buen libro para los adolescentes.
The Airship Librarian
You know what's really, really annoying? When you write a review and then a baby comes and plays with the mouse and BAM! It's just gone.

Anyway, the gist of the previous review was this: Bruiser is a fantastic book. I love it so much. So much so, that I'm really willing to give another high rating today. A sincere high rating at that.

You see, this is a book that I firmly believe should be taught in either Grade nine or ten. If I'd been allowed to read Bruiser instead of The Chrysalids then I wo...more
La verdad no se que sentir. Nunca habia leido un libro con la trama parecida, es mi primera vez leyendo algo asi y me gusto, realmente lo hizo, es una historia muy conmovedora y dolorosa que me ponia mis sentimientos a flor de piel PERO hay algo que le resto esas 2 estrellas y es que no lo se, se me hizo muy original sin embargo necesitaba una explicación logica del origen de esa peculiaridad de nuestro protagonista, cosa que no consegui y no me gustan ese tipo de finales que tiene este libro, e...more
Shusterman certainly doesn't disappoint. I loved all the different POVs (but especially Bruiser's and Cody's). I found this book's tone/style a little younger than I normally prefer, but it worked! Innovative plot and truly, I just cared about the characters. I'm rambling. Good story. Good characters. Neat twists and character growth. Go read now.
Sana Aziz
Neal Shusterman`s Bruiser, is an extraordinarily one of a kind story with an extremely unique character. Brewster has the power to remove pain from those he cares about by tolerating their pain. I personally enjoyed this book because Neal Shusterman creates a mysterious love for Brewster in my heart through his deep and affectionate character. I find myself in great sympathy for Cody, Brewster`s younger brother, because of how young he is. If I could change one thing about the story, I would cha...more
this is the second i've read by
shusterman. he is so original in
his story ideas and definitely gets
down to the emotional core. this one
is told from multiple pov and he pulls
it off wonderfully. it adds to the depth
of the storytelling.
Andrew Hicks
I read a review on here that called Neal Shusterman "the Tim Burton of YA." If that's true, Bruiser is the Edward Scissorhands of YA. A couple quick notes of comparison:

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS: A kid who is different lives way up in a castle, isolated from a world that would never understand him.
BRUISER: A kid (Brewster) who is different lives tucked away in his uncle's methless meth house with his little brother Cody (the perfect name for a fictional lower-class ragamuffin, btw). Uncle Hoyt keeps...more
"Bruiser" takes place in present time. It's is a normal place and a normal family that is falling apart. The parents are really close to getting a divorce. Bronte and Tennyson are twin sister and brother and they are in highschool. They go to school with a boy named Brewster (aka Bruiser or Brew) who was voted "most likely to get the death penalty". Bronte starts dating Bruiser and Tennyson is not happy. Tennyson is dating a girl named Katrina. Later in the book, Katrina cheats on Tennyson. In...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Young Adult 1 9 May 24, 2014 08:37AM  
Radcliff English 3: Book Recommendation 1 1 May 07, 2014 10:54AM  
Tennyson and Bronte 4 34 Feb 15, 2014 04:12PM  
What is a good name for this character? 3 14 Dec 27, 2013 03:25PM  
Teen Critic: Bruiser by Neal Shusterman ----> Starting Date November 18 23 14 Dec 01, 2013 01:53PM  
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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi...more
More about Neal Shusterman...
Unwind (Unwind, #1) UnWholly (Unwind, #2) Everlost (Skinjacker, #1) Everwild (Skinjacker, #2) UnSouled (Unwind, #3)

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“Once in a while our school has half days, and the teachers spend the afternoon 'in service,' which I think must be a group therapy for having to deal with us.” 89 likes
“What's the point of living if you're going to hate the world? Guard your heart if you have to, but don't shut it away.” 70 likes
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